Cyber scammers are misusing the public’s interest in the fate of the recently disappeared plane on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 to lure users into filling in online surveys and downloading malware.
The scam is currently spreading on Facebook, where messages claiming that the missing plane has been found in the Bermuda Triangle and that the passengers are alive, and offering a peek at the “rescue video” are popping up.
Unfortunately for those who are hoping for good news, the offered link leads to a fake Facebook page that will first request them to “share” the page, then will redirect them to another page ostensibly hosting the video.
But, once again, the victims will be asked to jump through hoops, i.e. complete online surveys in order to “prove they are human” and to watch the video.
The picture used in the message is that of a plane crash near Bali that happened last year.
“The surveys will ask users to provide their mobile phone numbers, ostensibly to get survey results or register for a prize. But, fine print on the page will inform users that, by submitting their phone numbers, they are actually signing up to a very expensive SMS subscription that takes several dollars from the user’s phone account every time it sends a text,” explains Hoax-Slayer.
“Other surveys or offers may ask users to provide their name, address and phone number to continue participation. This information will later be shared with online marketers, resulting in unwanted email, phone calls and surface mail.”
IT Pro Portal also reports of a similar scam doing rounds on Facebook – the image used is different, and the claim similar, and this scam apparently urges users to download malware masquerading as the promised video.
This is not the first not the last time that cold-hearted cyber scammers and malware peddlers use fake news of tragic events to scam users. It’s always a good idea to get your news from reputable news sites and to avoid similar offers when they come via email, Facebook or any other social network.